Saturday, August 31, 2019

Wikipedia's Article of the Day September 1, 2019: The Mummy Returns

The Mummy is a 1999 American action horror film written and directed by Stephen Sommers and starring Brendan Fraser (pictured), Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Kevin J. O'Connor, and Arnold Vosloo.

In this film, a loose remake of a film of the same name from 1932, adventurers accidentally awaken Imhotep, a high priest from Pharaoh Seti I's reign who has been cursed for eternity. Filming began in Marrakesh, Morocco, in May 1998; the crew had to endure dehydration, sandstorms, and snakes while filming in the Sahara.

The visual effects were provided by Industrial Light & Magic, who blended film and computer-generated imagery to create the mummy. The film opened on May 7, 1999, and went on to gross $416 million worldwide. The box-office success led to two sequels,

The Mummy Returns (2001) and The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor (2008), as well as an animated series, and a prequel, The Scorpion King. The film also inspired a roller coaster, Revenge of the Mummy, in three Universal Studios Theme Parks.

UGANDA: Debt servicing now stands at 60% of GDP

Costly. Kampala-Entebbe Expressway is one of the big projects financed by a loan from China. The project is one of those that raised the stock of debt from China, which now accounts for 75 per cent of Uganda’s bilateral foreign debt stock. FILE PHOTO 
What Uganda spends on debt and who gets paid


A report by Parliament’s Committee on National Economy released this week shows that Uganda’s income has not been growing fast enough to match our debt servicing requirements. It shows that debt servicing is taking up more than half of the country’s earnings.

“Debt service of Uganda’s external debt is on the rise and outstripping growth of the country’s income, currently at 60 per cent. This poses risks for future debt repayments, especially as the country continues to acquire external debt at less concessional terms, especially to finance the oil development programme,” the report reads, in part.

The report indicates that total expenditure on debt servicing rose by 129 per cent in the Financial Year 2017/2018. The amounts paid out rose from $120.62m (about Shs439b) in the Financial Year 2016/2017 to $275.75m (about Shs1 trillion) in the Financial Year 2017/2018.

The debate on debt, especially on whether the country’s borrowing is sustainable, remains divisive, with the government insisting that we have not crossed the 50 per cent debt-to-GDP ratio, which international financial organisations say is the threshold for debt sustainability for poor countries.

As this debate rages, we take a look at how much Uganda spends on debt repayment, and who gets paid. A report on public debt, guarantees, other financial liabilities and grants for last financial year, produced by the Ministry of Finance, has details.

It shows that the government paid out a total of Shs627b to creditors, out of which Shs266b or 42.45 per cent, was paid to PTA Bank, making the regional bank the biggest single recipient of debt financing funds from Uganda. Established in 1985, the Eastern and Southern African Trade & Development Bank, formerly the PTA Bank, is a multilateral treaty-based development financial institution.

Exim Bank of China was the second highest paid creditor last financial year, taking Shs117b or 18.72 per cent, while the International Development Bank (IDA) of the World Bank came third with Shs102b or 16.24 per cent of the overall amount that was paid out to all creditors.

Debt distribution
The report shows that 66 per cent of Uganda’s debt, which stood at $7.66b by end of December 2018, is owed to multilateral creditors, while the bilateral creditors are owed 34 per cent.
According to government figures, the multilateral creditors were paid a total of Shs438m out of the Shs627b, which accounts for 70 per cent of what was paid out.

The multilateral debtors include the International Development Agency (IDA), Asian Development Bank (ADB), French Development Agency (AFD), the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) and the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Others are the Islamic Development Bank (IDB), the Nordic Development Fund (NDF), the Opec Fund and the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD).
The rest of the money was paid to bilateral creditors and commercial banks who, respectively, account for 34 per cent and 0.63 per cent of Uganda’s external debt. The bilateral creditors were paid Shs184,632.26b and the commercial banks Shs3,973.50b.

The bilateral creditors are Exim Bank of China, Exim Bank of South Korea, the Kuwait Fund, Nigeria, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Abu Dhabi, Austria, France, Japan through the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) and Japan International Cooperation Agency, Germany and UK Export Finance (UKEF).

Bilateral lenders
According to the documents, the financing of Karuma and Isimba Hydro Power Stations and funding for roads such as the Entebbe Expressway, substantially raised the stock of debt from China. It now accounts for 75 per cent of Uganda’s bilateral foreign debt stock, for which it has since come under criticism from sections of the populace.

Last month, Opposition leader Kizza Besigye took a swipe at the government for borrowing from China, saying the country ought to be more responsible in the manner in which it handles the government’s new found appetite for borrowing, especially in light of the fact that most of the money is squandered.

“Lenders have a responsibility. We must sound a very clear warning to, especially, our friends the Chinese,” he said on July 25, while giving what he described as the State of the People Address.

“Uganda was forgiven all its debts in 1992, but today, every Ugandan has a debt of Shs1m and the foreign debt is growing. It is 42 trillion and counting. Debt is not a bad thing if you are to put to it productive use, but part of it is stolen and some of it is used to beat us,” he added.

Undisbursed loans
The report by Parliament’s Committee on National Economy indicates that there was a reduction in the amounts of borrowed money that has remained in the hands of the creditors due to, among other things, failure by the implementing agencies to absorb the funds.
The stock of undisbursed loans dropped from $4.48b as at December 2017, to $4.05b as at December last year.

It attributed the decrease to improved performance of project, but the fact that government continues to pay interest in the form of commitment fees to the creditors, is a big minus.
The majority of undisbursed loans, 61 per cent, is in the hands of multilateral creditors, 38 per cent in the hands of bilateral creditors and 1 per cent in the hands of commercial banks.

Loans, according to the document, remain undisbursed either because certain conditions precedent to the disbursement have not been fulfilled or because of delays in the procurement process. There are also cases involving projects whose implementation is conducted over a lengthy period of time and others where no requests for disbursements have been filed in line with the implementation plans.

Some of the projects named as partially responsible for the undisbursed loans include large infrastructure projects such as Kabaale International Airport, Busega-Mpigi Expressway, the Entebbe Airport Expansion project and the various power grid extension projects around the country.

USA: 7 Dead in West Texas shooting, 21 injured

Texas Police Search for Active Shooters in Midland, Odessa After at Least 2 Killed and 20 Injured
© REUTERS / Mike Stone

At least two people were killed and up to 20 others were injured in shootings on Saturday, according to the mayor of the city of Midland Jerry Morales, local media reported.

The mayor reportedly added that the incident occurred shortly after 4 p.m. local time, with two or possibly three gunmen targeting motorists on Interstate 20 and Highway 191, which connects the city of Midland to the city Odessa.

“They are shooting at random [...] We have two fatalities and up to 20 injuries”, Morales said, cited by The New York Times.
Local media reported earlier on Saturday, citing authorities, that at least 30 people were injured in connection with an alleged mass shooting in the cities of Odessa and Midland in Texas. According to the CBS broadcaster, citing local police, the public is urged to avoid I-20 in Odessa, Midland and Big Spring as authorities search for 2 suspects who have shot several people including an officer.

One of the suspects is reportedly believed to be driving a gold-colored vehicle and armed with a rifle, CBS said.

The second suspect reportedly may have taken a US Post Office vehicle. According to the City of Midland, a suspect shot a trooper in the westbound lanes of I-20 and shot several people afterwards.

Spokesperson for Odessa Police Department Cpl. Steve LeSueur has urged Odessans to stay indoors while they search for active shooters, local media reported.

Meanwhile, the campus of the University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB) was reportedly shutdown as an abundance of caution.

Midland authorities said that one suspect is believed to be at the Cinergy in Midland and the other is believed to be driving on Loop 250 in Midland.
© REUTERS / Callaghan O'Hare
Death Toll in Odessa-Midland Shooting in Texas Rises to Seven


The FBI and law enforcement agencies have been “fully engaged” in investigating a shooting that occurred on a highway connecting the cities of Midland and Odessa on Saturday.

The death toll in a shooting in West Texas has increased to seven people, while more than 20 people were shot in the incident, Odessa police said.

According to spokesman Steve LeSueur, at least one of the shooting victims remains in a life-threatening condition.

The shooting occurred on Saturday when state troopers stopped a car with a man, who failed to signal a left turn.

The man opened fire at the troopers and fled the scene, while randomly shooting people. The gunman, reportedly identified as a white man in his 30s, was later killed by officers near a movie theatre.

US President Donald Trump was briefed on the incident, while the FBI and law enforcement agencies have been investigating the case.

Commenting on the shooting, Trump said that he was dealing with Republicans and Democrats on gun control efforts and added that background checks wouldn't have stopped recent gun violence.

"They would not have stopped any of it," Trump stated.

Trump was referring to another recent shooting when a gunman killed 22 people in the Texas border city of El Paso.

In early August, Trump stated that "serious discussions" were taking place between congressional leaders on implementing meaningful background checks for individuals purchasing firearms in the United States.

The US president noted that guns should not be placed in the hands of mentally ill or deranged people.

UGANDA: Celebrating 3 decades of Museveni's safe houses (PHOTOS)


CHANGE OF GUARDS - “Madam Speaker, I wish to mention that a safe house is a secure place used for intelligence work, all intelligence and security agencies world over operate safe houses...........running safe houses is not peculiar to Uganda but it is a worldwide intelligence practice."
       Extract from Gen. Tumwine's written statement on the floor of Parliament -  mid August 2019.

"What I know is there are safe houses but you (MPs) will not be allowed to go there because the law does not permit you."
      Gen. Tumwine - before the Human Rights Committee of Parliament -  late August 2019.

In another gamble to remain relevant, Uganda's toothless Parliament is back in arms with the executive over the issue of torture chambers dubbed Safe Houses.  When the matter came to the floor of Parliament a few days ago, the Speaker ordered the parliamentary committee of Human Rights to visit the said Safe Houses.  Instead of moving straight to the alleged locations of the alleged Safe Houses, the committee opted to summon witnesses for interviews.  That is how the Minister of Security, Gen. Elly Tumwine told them off about the existence of the Safe Houses before warning them to mind their own business.

Operations of Safe Houses are as old as the Museveni regime.  The earliest Safe House was located within State House at Entebbe.  It was an isolated residential house that was tightly guarded.  The cover was that it was being used by SPLA's John Garang, yet it was housing Museveni's 2nd Lady and daughter of Mzei Nyindombi of Kebisoni in Rukungiri.  The custodian of that tightly guarded secret was then, Capt. Aronda Nyakairima.  When Janet Kataaha found out, the house was abandoned and the 2nd Lady and her children shifted to somewhere around Bugolobi before being resettled in Kisozi.

The use of Safe Houses by Museveni's intelligence outfits came to prominence in the late 1990s with the advent of Gen. Tumukunde to the helm of the intelligence community.  Military Intelligence (CMI) took the lead as ISO trailed.  It was initially associated with the mass arrests of Muslims who were accused of having links with ADF and grenade blasts in Kampala.  However, such safe houses were located within CMI's premises at Kitante Courts.  Following the launch of the global war on terrorism, Uganda joined the fray by founding the Joint Anti-terrorism Task Force (JATTF) that was housed at the infamous Kololo Safe House next to the residence of the Danish Ambassador's residence.   When JATTF's Kololo Safe House was exposed, more Safe Houses were established in different rented Safe Houses in Kampala.

Around the same time, the diplomatic fallout with Rwanda came to the scene.  Safe Houses for Rwandan dissidents were set up in Mbarara Municipality, Makindye at Gen. Muhoozi's house next to Kasirye Gwanga's residence and Bweyogerere.  At one time, the Rwandese delegates on the Uganda-Rwanda Joint Verification committee embarrassingly accurately led the team to the Bweyogerere Safe House.   The same fallout accounts for the shadowy PRA rebels that were allegedly linked to Dr. Besigye.  Consequently, a number of opposition activists fell victim to these Safe Houses.  To deny PRA potential recruiting ground, the regime initiated the notorious Operation Wembley (OW) under then Col. Elly Kayanja.

At a Safe House that also served as its head office along Clement Road just behind the MTN Towers in the city centre, OW summarily executed, tortured and detained victims.  OW summarily operated regional Safe Houses in Mbale under Lt. Siraji, in Mbarara under Capts. Rudahigwa and Rwakanuma, in Fort Portal under Cadre Among Rutenta and in Bunyoro under Lt. Abel among others.  OW operations were complimented by the Kalangala Action Plan (KAP) under Maj. Kakooza Mutale whose Safe House was located at Sure House along Bombo Road.  Public outcry over the excesses of OW were echoed by the  Human Rights Watch (HRW), International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC),  Amnesty International (AI), local human rights NGOs and picked up by Parliament.  OW was rebranded Violent Crime Crack Unit (VCCU) and relocated to Kireka.

Under VCCU, the atrocities continued unabated including among other methods Liverpool (water boarding) and Sauna (hoarding of about 100 victims in a tiny concrete structure that had no outlet for fresh air) where every morning dead bodies would be separated from the living.  Within Makindye Barracks there was the infamous underground cell commonly known as Go-Down where civilian victims of both OW and VCCU were horded for some years. To provide a quasi legal backing, Museveni created a parallel Court Martial headed by the same General Tumwine.  Its mandate was simply to remand in Makindye Barracks those who were lucky enough to survive the Safe Houses.  That's why throughout his tenure at the Court Martial, there was no single trial of any OW suspect.

Safe Houses were used to detain and torture victims of business rivalry, family conflicts over property, and as lodges by senior security officers with married women.  Whenever any human rights organization or parliamentary committee would put government to task, there were vehement denials.  Whenever such organizations would insist on making spot visits to Sate Houses, security agencies would panic by shifting and hiding the victims, cleaning of walls of interrogation rooms and in some instances presenting stage managed victims who would paint a positive image.

Since then, the use of Safe Houses has never stopped except that it surges depending on the pertaining political situation.  Since time immemorial, Safe Houses are exclusively operated by Military Intelligence (CMI) and ISO.  Some police officers like Musana, Magara, Elly Womanya and others were attached to JATTF, OW, and VCCU which has over time evolved into Rapid Response Unit (RRU), Flying Squad and Special Investigations Unit (SIU).  Until the recently abandoned Nalufenya Safe House, the police never formally operated Safe Houses.

Safe Houses have been and continue to be an acceptable norm in Uganda.  That is why they are no longer a secret and in recent times they have even been allowing family members to visit victims and even releasing some on bail.  It is in the same regard that the Minister of Security, Gen. Tumwine did not hesitate to confirm to Parliament that Safe Houses exist.  Therefore, it is hypocritical for Parliament to pretend that the phenomenon of Safe Houses is new.  May be the ongoing uproar is in commemoration of the three decades of Safe Houses in Uganda!


Robert F. Kennedy assassin stabbed in jail

FILE - In this Wednesday, Feb. 10, 2016, file photo, Sirhan Sirhan reacts during a parole hearing at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility in San Diego. Sirhan, Sen. Robert F. Kennedy’s assassin, is hospitalized in stable condition after being stabbed by a fellow inmate at a Southern California prison, Friday, Aug. 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, Pool, File)
RFK assassin Sirhan Sirhan stable after prison stabbing

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (Associated Press) — Sirhan Sirhan, imprisoned for more than 50 years for the 1968 assassination of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, was hospitalized Friday after being stabbed by a fellow inmate at a San Diego prison.

A statement from the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said the stabbing occurred Friday afternoon at the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility near San Diego.

“Officers responded quickly, and found an inmate with stab wound injuries. He was transported to an outside hospital for medical care, and is currently in stable condition,” the statement said.

The statement did not name Sirhan, but a government source with direct knowledge confirmed to The Associated Press that he was the victim. The source spoke under condition of anonymity, citing prison privacy regulations.

The stabbing was first reported by TMZ.

Corrections officials reported that the alleged attacker has been identified and has been segregated from the rest of the prison population pending an investigation.

Sirhan, 75, was convicted of shooting Kennedy shortly after midnight on June 5, 1968, immediately after the New York senator had declared victory in the previous day’s California Democratic presidential primary.

Kennedy had just finished delivering his victory speech to cheering supporters at Los Angeles’ Ambassador Hotel when he decided to walk through the hotel kitchen. He had stopped to shake hands with a busboy who had delivered food to his room the day before when he was shot in the head. He died the next day.

Sirhan was originally sentenced to death. But when California briefly outlawed capital punishment, his sentence was reduced to life in prison. He has been denied parole several times.

Five bystanders were wounded during the shooting. In the chaos, Los Angeles Rams football great Rosey Grier, Olympic champion Rafer Johnson and others wrestled the murder weapon away.

Over the years, Sirhan has claimed to have no recollection of the shooting or his initial confession.

As a high-profile prisoner, Sirhan had once been kept in a protective housing unit at Corcoran State Prison in Northern California. After he told authorities several years ago that he would prefer being housed with the general prison population, he was moved to the Richard J. Donovan Correctional Facility.

FOOD: Is it time to consider cannibalism - Researchers

Cannibal cookies? Student accused of baking grandmother’s ashes and feeding classmates
A modest proposal indeed: Academia considers cannibalism


The thought-leaders and philosophers of the Western world have recently turned their attention to a rather radical method of reducing our carbon footprint and self-regulating the Earth’s population.

Ever since we diverged from our chimpanzee cousins five million years ago, human beings have picked up a diverse skillset. We sharpened rocks into axes, mastered fire, built civilizations and came up with the atomic bomb. It’s been a rocky couple of eons, but one thing we’ve managed to completely leave behind is the ultimate taboo: cannibalism.

However, is there a small but dedicated cannibal lobby working to reclaim it from psychopathic, penis-devouring killers and Liberian warlords? Despite some odd clickbait headlines, positive coverage of cannibalism in the media is all but nonexistent.

Academics, however, are unconstrained by nasty ‘social constructs’ like morality, ethics and ‘not eating your grandmother.’ Far away from the real world, professors steeped in postmodernism – a doctrine that reigns supreme in social science departments and rejects notions of objective reality – have been suggesting for some time that we embrace our inner beast and break the taboo.

“Cannibalism occurs in every class of vertebrates,” wrote American Museum of Natural History researcher Bill Schutt in ‘Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History.’ After discussing which wine pairs best with human placenta, Schutt mused whether one day food shortages and overcrowding might lead us to eat our own. The New York Times, incidentally, called the book “refreshing.” Additionally, researchers at UC San Diego declared in 2017 that as cannibalism helps limit the spread of disease in some species, it could benefit us too.

“We are flipping the paradigm, with regards to cannibalism,” the researchers said, with an accompanying press release from the university declaring “For some populations, cannibalism may be just what the doctor ordered.”ALSO ON RT.COMHealth benefits of cannibalism & treating kidney stones with roller coasters - Ig Nobel Prize 2018

While actual scientists research the nitty-gritty of eating corpses, social scientists busy themselves pondering its cultural significance. Last year, a conference was held at the University of Warwick, entitled “Bites Here and There,” where such topics as “Help Yourself: Autophagy as Response to Global Crises,”“Cannibalism and Intimacy,” and “‘Ethical’ Foodways: Justifying Cannibalism in Contemporary Speculative Fiction” were discussed.

Despite persuading their test subjects with several moral and ethical arguments in favor of cannibalism, the authors of one research paper packed it in when they found that, no matter what the circumstances, these subjects refused to eat human flesh. However, they did offer a ray of hope for aspiring autophagists, noting that while chowing down on corpses disgusts us “for now,” we should “be able to adapt to human flesh if need be.”

It’s easy to mock the notions of academics, who are after all paid to think up abstract ideas and publish impenetrable research papers. But their ideas tend to percolate down into mainstream media, and from there into our culture.

Grace Cuddihy

Brexit Britain. …
Tom Hale@tommyhale91

The idea that insects could replace meat as a viable food source was the stuff of science and academia for decades, and a slow but steady trickle of research papers lent weight to the argument. In true postmodernist fashion, anthropologists argued that our revulsion at eating winged, flying, crawling monsters was nothing more than another social construct to be overturned.

Fast forward to today, and we’re told that insects are the delicious, nutritious, and the solution to our planet’s woes. Newspaper think-pieces and cable news segments trumpet the virtues of eating bugs almost daily. Sainsbury’s now stock ‘Eat Grub’s Smoky BBQ Crunchy Roasted Crickets’ in the snack aisle, and Dutch retailer Jumbo has been selling mealworm burgers and crunchy locusts since 2014.

Masato Jones

Would you eat insects just seen these in @sainsburys ?

BBQ crickets

I'm not joking

At the risk of making a massive generalization, people buy edible insects for only two reasons: curiosity and virtue signaling. “Look at me!” they can say. “I’m ahead of the curve. I’m part of the solution, not the problem.” The customer base for edible insects likely overlaps significantly with the soulless millenials who pay good money to consume trendy soy-slop from companies like Huel and Soylent in place of solid food.

And so it may well go with cannibalism. Whether the taboo is broken by the slow and steady work of academics, or bucked by one forward-thinking influencer, once man-flesh enters the mainstream it might not be long before thousands are lining up for their first bite. And who knows, maybe they’ll even ask for seconds.

US govt to use false social media profiles to monitor visa applicants

© Reuters / Akhtar Soomro
Fakes for me, not for thee: US govt to use false social media profiles to monitor immigrants


US Citizenship and Immigration officers can now use fake social media accounts to surveil foreigners seeking visas and citizenship, even after years of US lawmakers blasting foreign rivals for supposedly doing the same.

Officers have until recently been banned from creating fictitious profiles, but a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) privacy review dated July 2019 but posted online on Friday has reversed that ban. According to the review, officers with the department’s Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate can keep an eye on the social media profiles of suspicious visa applicants, as they decide who to allow entry to.

Twitter told AP that it would evaluate the DHS proposal, while Facebook has yet to comment. Yet, the move seems to directly contradict the policies of both social media giants, which explicitly ban impersonation on their platforms. Both platforms just recently shut down more than 200,000 “fake accounts,” supposedly operated by the Chinese government to discredit the Hong Kong protest movement.

Moreover, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents were caught earlier this year using fake Facebook profiles to catch illegal immigrants enroling in the University of Farmington, a fictitious university set up by the agency to entrap people committing immigration fraud, including nearly 600 Indian students.

Kudos to the DHS, it has at least given a nod towards privacy, with agents not allowed to interact with the profiles they monitor, and are forbidden from “friending” or “following” them. They are therefore restricted to combing through the information that these people choose to make public.

However, no matter how careful the DHS is, the fact remains that setting up fake accounts in the first place is forbidden by Facebook and Twitter. Whether they will acquiesce to the demands of the government in this case is an open question. To date, the Silicon Valley tech giants have had a testy relationship with the current administration, with Donald Trump lambasting the platforms for their supposed anti-conservative bias.

The tech titans have also been accused by both parties of overbearing data collection and monitoring of users, particularly in the wake of the Cambridge Analytica scandal last year.
‘US bots’ unleashed?

That a government agency would advocate the use of fake accounts is shockingly ironic, given the noise that American lawmakers have raised over the proliferation of similar fakes from their adversaries. In a pair of hearings last year, Democrats grilled Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg over the alleged spread of ‘misinformation’ by Russian accounts during the 2016 election in the US. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey also faced a similar line of questioning later last year, at a Senate hearing into foreign election interference, during which he attempted to win over lawmakers from both parties by trumpeting his platform’s anti-Russian crackdown since 2016.
Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey after testifying before the Senate Intelligence Committee last year © Reuters / Jim Bourg
Since the hearings, both platforms have embarked on sporadic purges of accounts they say were faked by Russia, China, and Iran. Facebook uses the term “co-ordinated inauthentic activity” to justify its crackdows, while Twitter has also targeted “inauthentic accounts” in its clearouts.

So, with America’s law enforcement agencies getting into the business of inauthentic activity, will there be any congressional hearings or mass purges of DHS-linked accounts? Unlikely. Facebook determines what constitutes “inauthentic activity” by liaising with certain groups like the Atlantic Council (AC), a NATO-backed think tank funded by the US government and a slew of arms manufacturers. Twitter has also offered money to the AC to fund “research” into flimsy claims of Russian election-meddling.ALSO ON RT.COMFacebook’s vaunted transparency tool spectacularly fails to catch fake ads by ‘US Senators & ISIS’

While politicians on both sides of the aisle pilloried Facebook for its data-harvesting practices last year, they have never shied away from using these data troves themselves. After Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik murdered 14 people in a shooting rampage in San Bernardino in 2015, legislation authorizing social media checks for foreigners seeking US visas enjoyed bipartisan support.

Four years later, the Trump administration upped the ante, with the State Department announcing in June that all applicants for US visas will have to submit their social media usernames and five years’ worth of email addresses for scrutiny. The tightening-up of rules has already seen at least one Palestinian student barred from entry, for posts containing “political points of view that oppose the US.”

The view from Washington was perhaps best summed up at Dorsey’s hearing by Republican Senator Tom Cotton (Arizona). After asking Dorsey whether he believed that the US should “remain the world’s dominant global superpower,”Cotton went on to suggest that Facebook and Twitter should actively work on behalf of the US government, and not act as “even-handed or neutral arbiters.”

Allowing a few fakes here and there might be the price these companies pay to keep Washington’s favor – for now.

DR Congo Ebola deaths top 2,000

Image copyright EPA Image caption The outbreak has been called one of the world's "most complex humanitarian crises"
The numbers of people who have died in the current Ebola outbreak in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo has reached the 2,000 mark, government figures show.


The health authorities have struggled to contain the spread of the virus.

Neighbouring Uganda said that a nine-year-old girl with Ebola who had crossed the border had died.

The World Health Organization has called the situation one of the world's "most complex humanitarian crises".

This outbreak, in the east of DR Congo, is the second largest on record with the number of cases now exceeding 3,000, according to the government.

The largest was the epidemic that ravaged parts of West Africa from 2014 to 2016, killing more than 11,000 people.

In Uganda, the girl with Ebola was isolated and transferred to an Ebola treatment unit where she later died. She is reported to have crossed the border with her mother, who was put into an isolation unit until she can be repatriated.
Image copyright REUTERS Image caption The health authorities have been carrying out a vaccination programme
Uganda has maintained largely successful screening centres along its border with DR Congo in an effort stop the outbreak crossing the frontier.

There were two Ebola cases in the country in June. A Ugandan man and his Congolese wife lost two sons after their return from a trip to DR Congo to see relatives.
What is being done to control the outbreak?

In DR Congo, the health authorities, working with NGOs, have been vaccinating health workers and people who have been in contact with suspected Ebola cases, but it has been difficult getting the spread of the virus under control.

Insecurity in the east of DR Congo and people's suspicions of treatments have hampered efforts.

About 200 health facilities have been attacked in the country this year, causing disruption to vaccinations and treatments. In one incident, family members assaulted health workers who were overseeing the burial of their relative.
Media caption Fear and myths: Why people are still in denial about Ebola
A 2018 study published in the Lancet medical journal says "belief in misinformation was widespread" concerning the Ebola outbreak.

In a statement, the WHO called on countries and NGOs that have offered help to "increase their presence in the field to stop Ebola and to address one of the largest and most complex humanitarian crises in the world".
How serious is the DR Congo outbreak?

The current outbreak in eastern DR Congo began in August last year and is the biggest of 10 to hit the country since 1976, when the virus was first discovered.

In July, the WHO declared the Ebola crisis in the country a "public health emergency of international concern".

But it is dwarfed by the West African epidemic of 2014-16, which affected 28,616 people, mainly in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone. About 11,310 people died in what was the largest outbreak of the virus ever recorded.
Image copyright BSIP /GETTY IMAGES
What is Ebola?
Ebola is a virus that initially causes sudden fever, intense weakness, muscle pain and a sore throat
It progresses to vomiting, diarrhoea and both internal and external bleeding
People are infected when they have direct contact through broken skin, or the mouth and nose, with the blood, vomit, faeces or bodily fluids of someone with Ebola
Patients tend to die from dehydration and multiple organ failure

Africa's week in pictures: 23-29 August 2019 - via BBC

A selection of photos from across Africa, and of Africans elsewhere, this week:Image copyrightEPAImage captionThis girl does a backflip in South Africa on one of the free trampolines in Johannesburg's Alexandra township after school on Tuesday...Image copyrightEPAImage captionStar trampoline artist Phaphama Nxumalo is seen here on the the same day showing the others how it's done.Image copyrightEPAImage captionAlso in Johannesburg, wrestlers put on a show for their fans on Saturday...Image copyrightEPAImage captionSouth African Pro Wrestling, as the group is known, has a devoted following.Image copyrightEPAImage captionSomali-born model and entrepreneur Iman takes to the red carpet at Venice International Film Festival in Italy on Wednesday...Image copyrightAFPImage captionWhere South African model Candice Swanepoel posed for the cameras the day before.Image copyrightREDFERNS/GETTY IMAGESImage captionNigerian Afrobeats star D'banj headlines London's Brixton Academy on Sunday. Earlier that week, he told the BBC that he and his wife are expecting another child, one year on from the death of their son.Image copyrightAFPImage captionOn Thursday in Abidjan, Ivory Coast, people take part in the "Fatchue" ceremony...Image copyrightAFPImage captionThe festival marks the initiation of younger generations into roles of community leadership.Image copyrightSOPA IMAGES/ GETTY IMAGESImage captionUgandan musician-turned-MP Bobi Wine is blessed by Catholic priests on Sunday during a campaign event. The opposition politician plans to run against longtime President Yoweri Museveni in the 2021 election.Image copyrightREUTERSImage captionOn Wednesday, the recently discovered, 3.8 million-year-old skull of an early ape-like human ancestor is displayed in Ethiopia. Behind it is a three-dimensional reproduction of how researchers believe the whole skull would have appeared.Image copyrightEPAImage captionIn central Kenya on Friday, armed rangers escort one of the two surviving northern white rhinos to allow vets to harvest her eggs. It is hoped the harvested eggs will be fertilised using frozen sperm from a deceased northern white rhinoceros, bringing the creatures back from the brink of extinction.Image copyrightEPAImage captionStudents are on parade during National Flag Day Liberia's capital, Monrovia, on Saturday.Image copyrightGETTY IMAGESImage captionAnd on the same day in the US, Africans who died at sea during the transatlantic slave trade are honoured with a petal-throwing ceremony in Virginia.

Pictures from Reuters, EPA, Getty Images, AFP, Redferns and SOPA Images

NTVUganda has added TALK OF THE NATION: Addressing teachers’ challenges video

TALK OF THE NATION: Addressing teachers’ challenges

#NTVNews #TalkOfTheNation Subscribe to Our Channel For more news visit Follow us on Twitter Like our Facebook page

UGANDA: Everything is corrupt in the country

Patrick Ho, Yoweri Museveni, Sam Kuteesa Bribes & Corruption


I worked and lived in Kampala for 14 years. I ran my own private company from 2001 until 2014

Everything is wrong with Uganda.

The Director won't give you contract except you pay up front .

The banks won't give you loan except you concede a certain percentage.

The man supervising the contract won't pass the job except you play ball.
The clerk won't pass your file for payment except you rob his palm.
The accounts department won't raise your payment voucher or cheque unless you see them. I can go on and on.

The worst thing is that it has become a norm that nobody sees anything wrong with.
If you think otherwise, they begin to think you are sick and not normal.
If you try to stand in their way, you put your life at risk.

If you get killed there is no justice system in place to seek redress and bring the perpetrators to book.

The police is corrupt , the Judiciary is the same.
Even the religious circle is not spared.

Everything in Uganda revolves around corruption.
Nobody cares about anybody. No law and order.
I looked from my left to right, everybody is only desperate about one thing "money".
They will kill anybody and anything that stand between them and money.
I am an electrical engineer with MNSE and COREN. The system don't care about my qualifications.

Distribution and transmission jobs are given to friends and relatives without any basic skills.
I started asking myself, how do I convince my kids that education and hard work is rewarding?

Is this what my four sons will also go through? In 2014 I decided I have had enough. I decided I was leaving. I migrated to Australia with my family.
Don't put yourself in harm way for any reason.
The problem of Uganda is in the hands of Ugandans living outside  Uganda.

Try starting a gate house in your village, everybody wants to profiteer from it. The bricklayer, the carpenter, the mason and even your brother who claim to be supervising on your behalf.
They are corrupt, morally bankrupt and selfish.

Everybody there thinks about himself and nobody is thinking about Uganda .

Uganda Power Company Warns Cost Cuts to Hurt Distribution Plan

Uganda’s main power distributor has warned that proposed cost cuts will limit its ability to meet the government target of doubling the number of electricity connections within six years, according to people with knowledge of the matter.


Umeme Ltd. is opposed to a proposal by the electricity regulator to cap its operational and maintenance costs at $42 million annually, the people said, requesting not to be identified because the matter is not public. That compares with $64 million that Umeme spent last year.

The Electricity Regulatory Authority, which approves tariffs partly based on distribution costs, has been under pressure to lower prices to support President Yoweri Museveni’s plan to boost manufacturing. In March, the regulator said tariffs would drop by as much as 17% this year as new power plants start generating.

The government and Umeme, whose main shareholder is the state-controlled National Social Security Fund, are set to negotiate a new cost plan for the next six years, according to the people. Umeme argues that the government’s proposal doesn’t take into account its target to more than double the number of customers connected to the network to 3.4 million, the people said.

The company plans to double its technical staff, build more sub-stations and open more service centers to enable it connect 300,000 new customers to the network annually. Uganda wants to increase its access to electricity to 60% of the population by 2027 from 26.7% currently.

Umeme increased its investments by 29% to 147 billion shillings ($40 million) in the six months through June from a year earlier, as net income rose slightly to 61.2 billion shillings. The company has 1.4 million customers and is negotiating with government to extend its 20-year concession due to expire in 2025.

NTVUganda has added Arthur blick leads day one of the Fort Portal Rally video

Arthur blick leads day one of the Fort Portal Rally

Arthur Blick Junior has led day one of the fifth leg of the national rally championship currently underway in Fort Portal. This as Ponsiano Lwakataka fell out of the event after suffering a ball Joint break down during the event's Super Special stage held at Fort Portal Boma grounds. We have the highlights of the event. #NTVNews Subscribe to Our Channel For more news visit Follow us on Twitter Like our Facebook page

NTVUganda has added Gov’t is embracing more community involvement - Rugunda video

Gov’t is embracing more community involvement - Rugunda

In a move aimed at improving the quality of work on various development projects in the country, government is adopting a community-driven development module in the implementation of community projects. This is according to the Prime Minister, Dr Ruhakana Rugunda, who was commissioning two new health centres in Lamwo district, from where Nelson Omoya reports. #NTVNews Subscribe to Our Channel For more news visit Follow us on Twitter Like our Facebook page

NTVUganda has added Mike Mutebi not impressed with KCCA win against Wakiso giants video

Mike Mutebi not impressed with KCCA win against Wakiso giants

Newly promoted Wakiso Giants FC have suffered a 1-0 loss to KCCA FC at the StarTimes stadium in Lugogo in their second meeting since August 5. However, the victor's Coach, Mike Mutebi says he was not impressed with his players’ game. #NTVNews Subscribe to Our Channel For more news visit Follow us on Twitter Like our Facebook page

NTVUganda has added Nakabuye is one of many Kampalans embracing cycling video

Nakabuye is one of many Kampalans embracing cycling

For many people, living and working within Kampala and its suburbs presents transport challenges. The high cost of public transport and the ever worsening traffic jams have led some people to take up cycling as their principal mode of transportation. One such person is 22 year old Shamal Nakabuye, who says riding a bicycle has helped her save money and keep fit. #NTVNews Subscribe to Our Channel For more news visit Follow us on Twitter Like our Facebook page

NTVUganda has added Family and friends recall murdered Ronald Kitayimbwa’s last days video

Family and friends recall murdered Ronald Kitayimbwa’s last days

On Friday, Ronald Kitayimbwa's body was found in Mukono, dumped alongside that of Maria Nagirinya whose abduction on Wednesday had received a lot of media coverage. Most of the people, who knew Kitayimbwa, have described him as a hardworking person who was liked by many. The murdered boda boda rider and part-time driver leaves behind a grieving widow and five children, including four month old twins. #NTVNews Subscribe to Our Channel For more news visit Follow us on Twitter Like our Facebook page

NTVUganda has added Woodball fraternity assured of more Gov’t support video

Woodball fraternity assured of more Gov’t support

The third edition of the Uganda Woodball League has been officially opened by the president Uganda Woodball Federation Paul Mark Kayongo at the Mandela Stadium in Namboole. Kayongo has assured the Woodball fraternity that the federation will soon be getting assistance from the government. #NTVNews Subscribe to Our Channel For more news visit Follow us on Twitter Like our Facebook page

NTVUganda has added Bulambuli residents ask for government assistance on Landslides video

Bulambuli residents ask for government assistance on Landslides

Nine people are still unaccounted for following landslides in Bulambuli district earlier this week. The residents of Bunasafuwa parish in Bulango sub county, believe the missing people were buried by the landslides. Now, local leaders want government to provide earth moving equipment to help retrieve these bodies. #NTVNews Subscribe to Our Channel For more news visit Follow us on Twitter Like our Facebook page

NTVUganda has added Busoga College Mwiri take Schools' title video

Busoga College Mwiri take Schools' title

Busoga College Mwiri continued their dominance of Uganda schools cricket with a 65 run win over St John's High School Kaugu. The tournament, which as been raging on for a week at various cricket ovals in Kampala, came to a climax today. #NTVNews Subscribe to Our Channel For more news visit Follow us on Twitter Like our Facebook page

UGANDA: Museveni's General Ggwanga with licence to shoot anything?

Accused. Maj Gen Kasirye Gwanga addresses the media during the age limit debate at Parliament in September 2017. PHOTO BY ALEX ESGALA. 

Retired Maj Gen Kasirye Gwanga was at it again last week, shooting and deflating the tyres of a lorry that was ferrying logs of eucalyptus in Busujju County, Mityana District.

Gen Ggwanga has vowed to stop the cutting of eucalyptus trees in the area of his birth, arguing that those who planted the commercial forests first cut down natural forests, and that he will, for this reason, ensure that they don’t harvest the eucalyptus.

The shooting incident last week followed another that happened two weeks earlier, in which he again shot the tyres of a lorry carrying logs of eucalyptus. These cases are reported to the police, and police records show that the retired general now has a total of 11 cases reported against him. But none of them has been conclusively dealt with.

Although now officially retired, Gen Ggwanga is largely seen as an army officer, wielding a machine gun and some military insignia. We asked the Defence and army spokesperson, Brig Richard Karemire, what the military is doing about the errant general.
Brig Karemire said: “Let the police deal with the matter [because Gen Ggwanga is retired].

When retired Maj Gen Matayo Kyaligonza was involved in another problem, they approached the police to handle their issues and this one too should be able to be dealt with at that level.”
The incident Gen Karemire references happened in Seeta near Mukono Town in February where Gen Kyaligonza and his military guards were accused of assaulting a traffic police officer on duty.

The army court charged Gen Kyaligonza’s guards because they are serving officers, but left the police and civil courts to deal with Gen Kyaligonza. Gen Kyaligonza’s case is still before the courts.

On Gen Ggwanga’s cases, we turned to the police for answers. Wamala region police spokesperson Norman Ochom said the cases involving Gen Ggwanga are being investigated and that the files had been deposited with the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for sanctioning.

“We are taking this as a serious matter and we shall soon come to know the motive behind it. Let the public keep calm,” Mr Ochom said.
The general has been involved in a number of incidents before that.

In January, for instance, Gen Ggwanga shot and ripped a tyre of artiste Catherine Kusasira’s car, accusing the occupants of the car of playing their music too loud and being oblivious to pleas to tone down.
This incident was also reported to the police.

Police’s take
But police spokesperson Fred Enanga told Saturday Monitor that the DPP would decide on whether to follow up on earlier cases or focus on the recent ones in Mityana.

“All the other cases are being investigated and we are treating this as a single case; looking for witnesses and the accusers. That is the same procedure we use for the other cases,” Mr Enanga said.

Some of the other earlier cases include one in August 2017, when Gen Ggwanga set ablaze a grader on a piece of land in Lubowa, which he said belonged to his daughter but someone wanted to grab it.

Earlier incidents
November 2007: Gen Ggwanga allegedly slaps a traffic police officer who had blocked him from using Entebbe Road and he drives off.
September 9, 2008: Brig Ggwanga reportedly beats up Mr Ssebina Ssekitoleko, then an aide to former Prime Minister Amama Mbabazi.

December 24, 2009: Brig Ggwanga raids a playground where Pentecostal Christians are holding a prayer crusade near Makindye Magistrate’s Court on Christmas Eve. He fires in the air, scattering the faithful and their pastor, whom he accuses of making noise in a residential neighbourhood.

July 19, 2010: Maj Gen Ggwanga allegedly knocks dead an 11-year-old Elijah Oyako in Entebbe. He does not report to police. The case of reckless driving and causing death is opened and taken to court. He has never appeared in court.

May 2011: Gen Ggwanga is accused of setting his dogs on a civilian at Total Petrol Station at Kibuye, a Kampala suburb. The victim reports to police, but Gen Ggwanga insists the man wanted to steal property from his car.
April 2012: Gen Ggwanga is accused of assault by Mr Vincent Bagonza, Mr Ezra Sigiranda and Mr Ano Gafa, all residents of Boma in Mubende District. Police promise to summon Gen Ggwanga over the allegations, but they have not to-date.

MrMatador has added This is why you should NEVER go to Cristiano Ronaldo’s house for lunch | Mrmatador video

This is why you should NEVER go to Cristiano Ronaldo’s house for lunch | Mrmatador
If you get invited to lunch at Cristiano Ronaldo's house, think twice before accepting. HIT LIKE & SUBSCRIBE |  đź””Turn on post notifications to never miss a video! ___ Follow us: Facebook: Instagram : ___ © MrMatador

Texas woman pleads guilty to bribing corrupt Uganda High Court judges

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Texas Woman Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy to Facilitate Adoptions From Uganda Through Bribery and Fraud

A Texas woman who managed aspects of an international program at an Ohio-based adoption agency pleaded guilty today for her role in a scheme to corruptly facilitate adoptions of Ugandan children through bribing Ugandan officials and defrauding U.S. adoptive parents and the U.S. Department of State.

Robin Longoria, 58, of Mansfield, Texas, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge William H. Baughman, Jr. of the Northern District of Ohio to one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), to commit wire fraud and to commit visa fraud. Sentencing will be before U.S. District Judge Christopher A. Boyko of the Northern District of Ohio.

“The defendant compromised protections for vulnerable Ugandan children and undermined the United States’ visa screening process,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “Today’s plea ensures that she is held accountable for the far-reaching consequences of her corrupt conduct.”

“This defendant has admitted to playing a part in a conspiracy in which judges and other court officials in Africa were paid bribes to corrupt the adoption process,” said U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman of the Northern District of Ohio. “We are committed to pursuing justice for the adoptive parents and for all parties involved.”

“While adoptive families were financially and emotionally invested in the welfare of their future child, misrepresentations were made by Ms. Longoria and others to disguise bribe payments made to court officials in Uganda,” said Special Agent in Charge Eric B. Smith of the FBI’s Cleveland Field Office. “We are pleased Ms. Longoria has accepted responsibility for her role in facilitating an international adoption scam.”

As part of her guilty plea, Longoria admitted, among other things, that she and her co-conspirators agreed to, and did, cause bribes disquised as fees to be paid to an Uganda Agent. Longoria knew that these fees would and were used by the to pay bribes to court registrars and Ugandan High Court judges to corruptly influence the court registrars to assign particular cases to “adoption-friendly” judges and to corruptly influence the judges to grant the U.S. clients of the adoption agency the authority to bring the Ugandan children to the United States for the purpose of adoption. Longoria also admitted that she and her co-conspirators agreed to, and did, conceal these bribes from the adoption agency’s U.S. clients. Further, Longoria admitted that she and her co-conspirators agreed to, and did, create false documents for submission to the U.S. State Department to mislead it in its adjudication of visa applications for the Ugandan children being considered for adoption.

If you believe you are a victim of this offense, please visit call (888) 549-3945.

The FBI’s Cleveland Field Office is investigating the case. Trial Attorney Jason Manning of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section and Assistant U.S. Attorney Chelsea Rice of the Northern District of Ohio are prosecuting the case.

The Fraud Section is responsible for investigating and prosecuting all FCPA matters. Additional information about the Justice Department’s FCPA enforcement efforts can be found at

Sudan's Ex-President Bashir Charged With Corruption

FILE - Sudan's former president Omar Hassan al-Bashir stands guarded inside a cage at the courthouse where he is facing corruption charges, in Khartoum, Sudan, Aug. 19, 2019.
KHARTOUM (Reuters) - A Sudanese judge formally indicted former president Omar al-Bashir on charges of possessing illicit foreign currency and corruption on Saturday.

Questioned in court for the first time, Bashir said that he had received $25 million from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as well as funds from other sources, but that he had not received or used the money for his own benefit.

A lawyer for Bashir said that his client denied the charges against him and that witnesses for the defense would be presented at the next hearing.

The judge denied a request for bail and said a decision on the duration of Bashir's detention would be taken at a hearing on Sept. 7.

Sudan's military ousted and arrested Bashir in April after months of protests across the country. His prosecution is seen as a test of how far military and civilian authorities now sharing power will go to counter the legacy of his 30-year rule.

Bashir was also charged in May with incitement and involvement in the killing of protesters. He has been indicted by the International Criminal Court in The Hague on charges of masterminding genocide in Sudan's Darfur region.

A police detective told the court earlier this month that Bashir had acknowledged receiving millions from Saudi Arabia.

Today in History - August 31 -- Library of Congress

Today in History - August 31

On August 31, 1897, Thomas Edison received a patent for the kinetographic camera, “a certain new and useful Improvement in Kinetoscopes,” the forerunner of the motion picture film projector. Continue reading.

Click here to search Today in History for other historic moments.

Read more on Today in History - August 31

NTVUganda has added Bulambuli landslide victims ask for government assistance video

Bulambuli landslide victims ask for government assistance

9 bodies are still unaccounted for following fresh land slides around Bulambuli early this week. According to the residents of Bunasafuwa parish in Bulango sub county, the missing bodies are believed to still be buried. However, local leaders want government to provide heavy equipment to help retrieve these bodies. Furthermore, the area MP, Mudimi Wamakuyu wants government to provide relief items to residents whose food crops and houses have been destroyed by the land slides. #NTVNews Subscribe to Our Channel For more news visit Follow us on Twitter Like our Facebook page

NTVUganda has added MPs conduct public consultations on electoral reforms in Tororo video

MPs conduct public consultations on electoral reforms in Tororo

Consultations on the proposed bills on electoral reforms by the the legal and parliamentary affairs committee are underway in different parts of the country. This as the committee held a heated public hearing In Tororo district last evening, attracting mixed reactions from party leaders especially on the issue of independents. The other issue discussed was provisions of the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections Bills to the Public. The chairperson of the Committee Jackson Oboth Oboth noted that these Electoral reforms would be operationalised beginning October or November this year.#NTVNews Subscribe to Our Channel For more news visit Follow us on Twitter Like our Facebook page

NTVUganda has added Bushenyi residents accuse UPDF of sexual harassment video

Bushenyi residents accuse UPDF of sexual harassment

Police is investigating the conduct of the UPDF soldiers guarding two forests in Igara, near Bushenyi district. This follows complaints raised by the people neighboring the two forests, that soldiers are torturing and extorting money from them. The chairperson of Nyabwiina village Fabian Mpamizo is among the people whose bodies had fresh torture marks allegedly inflicted on them by UPDF soldiers. The Bushenyi District Police Commander, John Komakech says the alleged assault arose out of an arrest that was being resisted by the community for trespassing to the forests to graze goats and collect firewood as well. #NTVNews Subscribe to Our Channel For more news visit Follow us on Twitter Like our Facebook page

Friday, August 30, 2019

EDUCATION: Virtual Leadership Academy Uganda, EAC

Dear VLA learner,                                                                 
The following modules have been added to the core leadership content. 

1. Formal Communication
2. Social Media
3. Presentation skills
4. Public speaking
5. Information Research
6. Communication skills

A new online tutor has joined us to deliver the communication module.

Please welcome Martha Leah Nangalama.                                     
                                                                            Leah lives in Canada but was born and raised in Uganda and Kenya. Like other VLA faculty, she will be doing this Pro Bono.                   

She holds a Masters Degree in Information from University of Toronto and has worked for multinationals.

Radio and weasel - "Malaika"(WTA Supreme - Official Music Audio)

Radio and weasel - "Malaika"(WTA Supreme - Official Music Audio)


DR Congolese girl, 9, dies of Ebola in Uganda / Mtoto afariki kwa ebola Uganda

Kwa ufupi
Mtoto afariki kwa ebola Uganda

Ni binti wa miaka tisa ambaye aliingia na familia yake akitokea nchini Jamuhuri ya Kidemokrasia ya Congo (DRC).


Kampala. Mtoto mwenye umri wa miaka tisa aliyetokea Jamuhuri ya Kidemokrasia ya Congo (DRC) na kuingia nchini Uganda amefariki dunia siku chache baada ya kugundulika kuwa na ugonjwa wa ebola.

Shirika la habari la BBC, lililipoti kuwa mtoto huyo msichana mwenye asili ya Congo aligundulika juzi Jumatano Agosti 29.

Wizara ya Afya ya Uganda ilidhibitisha kutokea kwa kisa hicho katika Wilaya ya Kasese.

Taarifa ya wizara hiyo ilisema mtoto huyo alibainika baada ya kuonyesha dalili za ugonjwa huo alipokuwa akivuka mpaka wa Kusini Mashariki mwa Wilaya ya Kasese siku ya Jumatano.

Kwa mujibu wa taarifa hiyo, baadaye mtoto huyo alipelekwa katika kitengo cha matibabu cha ebola na kufariki dunia leo wakati akipatiwa matibabu.

Mapema mwezi huu, Uganda ilianza kutoa chanjo ya majaribio ya ebola ambayo imekuwa ikitumiwa katika nchi jirani ya Congo ambako mlipuko wa ugonjwa huo umewaua zaidi ya watu 1,900.

Chanjo hiyo inayojulikana kama MVA-BN iliyoandaliwa na Johnson & Johnson inatarajiwa kudumu miaka miwili.

Congolese girl, 9, dies of Ebola in Uganda- hospital official

KAMPALA (Reuters) - A nine-year-old girl has died of Ebola in the East African nation of Uganda, a hospital official said, a day after she tested positive for the disease after crossing the border from neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo.

“It is true she died last night,” said the official, who asked not to be named.

Google unveils 'unprecedented' iPhone security flaw

The vulnerability had given attackers access to "almost all of the personal information" on the device. Researchers told DW that only "a very resourceful and determined actor" could execute such a sophisticated attack.


Google researchers on Friday said a security vulnerability in iPhones gave attackers unbridled access to "almost all" personal data on targeted devices.

"There was no target discrimination," said Google's Project Zero team in a blog post. "Simply visiting the hacked site was enough for the exploit server to attack your device, and if it was successful, install a monitoring implant."

The vulnerability gave the implant widespread access to user data, including database files for popular apps such as WhatsApp and Apple's native iMessage, which implement end-to-end encryption.

The implant could also send location data of iPhones installed with Apple's latest mobile operating systems once every 60 seconds and access the user's Gmail account.

"The implant has access to almost all of the personal information available on the device, which it is able to upload, unencrypted, to the attacker's server," said Project Zero's Ian Beer, a white hat hacker and cybersecurity researcher.

'Unprecedented' attack

The vulnerability took the cybersecurity world by surprise, in part because of Apple's longstanding image as a secure ecosystem.

Lukasz Olejnik, independent cybersecurity and privacy researcher, told DW that such a sophisticated attack could only be executed by "a very resourceful and determined actor."

"Any prolonged cyber operation targeting thousands of users and using multiple exploits, including zero-days, is unprecedented," said Olejnik, who is also a research associate at Oxford University's Center for Technology and Global Affairs.

"This case is even more important because it might be the first of its kind."

The Project Zero team said rebooting would remove the implant. However, it warned that the attacker could still have access to the user's accounts by using data it gleaned from the device, including passwords.

ENERGY: Oil report for August 30, 2019 (CHARTS)

Oil Prices Crash As Hurricane Hurts Bullish Sentiment


Oil prices looked set for their biggest weekly gain since July, but demand fears caused by Hurricane Dorian hitting Florida sent prices crashing on Friday morning. Oil prices were pushed up this week by cautious language from the U.S. and China, falling oil inventories, and also by a major Hurricane heading for the U.S. southeast. Despite an apparent cooling in the trade war, already-announced tariffs are set to jump on Sunday. “Upside momentum should not be taken for granted. Recession fears are casting a shadow on sentiment and oil prices should keep dancing to the tune of the U.S.-China trade saga,” Stephen Brennock of oil broker PVM told Reuters.

Possible Category 4 hurricane barrels towards Florida and the Gulf. Hurricane Dorian, which could yet strengthen to a powerful Category 4, is heading for Florida. “There’s a storm premium in the WTI price,” Phil Flynn, an analyst at Price Futures Group in Chicago, told Reuters. “The track of the storm is kind of dangerous for Gulf of Mexico production.” The storm could impact fuel supplies in Florida at the retail level. Florida is not an oil producer. The storm is expected to turn up the Atlantic Coast, so Gulf of Mexico production probably won’t be impacted. There could be a significant demand impact though.

Shale bankruptcies increase. There have been 26 bankruptcies in the U.S. shale industry this year, nearly as much as the 28 bankruptcies in all of 2018. The default rate of 5.7 percent is at its highest level since 2017, according to the Wall Street Journal. Investors have lost faith in shale E&Ps, and bankruptcies are on the rise. But this may pale in comparison to the debt wave that comes due over the next few years. Roughly $9 billion in debt is set to mature over the remainder of 2019 – but a massive $137 billion matures between 2020 and 2022.

China stakes out softer tone on tariffs. Tariffs are still set to jump starting in September, but both President Trump and China have dialed down the rhetoric in recent days. China said that it would not immediately respond to last week’s announced tariff increase from Trump.

Aramco eyes split IPO. Saudi Aramco may pursue a public offering in two stages, one on the Saudi stock exchange later this year, followed by an international offering in 2020 or 2021, according to the Wall Street Journal. The WSJ says that Aramco is considering Tokyo, spurning London and Hong Kong because of political uncertainty.

Aramco sells WTL to South Korea. Saudi Aramco Trading Company, an arm of the Saudi oil giant, sold its first-ever cargo of U.S. West Texas Light oil to a refinery in South Korea, according to Reuters. The move is a sign that Aramco is expanding its relationship with the U.S. and boosting trade volumes.

Dutch to end Groningen gas quicker than expected. The Dutch government will stop production at the enormous Groningen natural gas field sooner than previously planned. “I expect the Groningen field to no longer be necessary very soon,” Dutch Economy Minister Eric Wiebes said on Tuesday. “Things are moving very fast, a lot faster than anyone would have predicted some time ago.” The government has curtailed output due to the rising frequency of earthquakes.

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Mexico to open up energy sector again. In an about-face, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador is expected to turn back to the private sector to revive oil production. AMLO had halted new oil auctions and laid out billions of dollars of new investment into state-owned Pemex. But in the face of budgetary pressure and deteriorating credit ratings at Pemex, AMLO could reopen offshore development to the private sector, according to the FT.

U.S. cyber-attack thwarts Iranian tanker attacks. A secret U.S. cyber-attack in June against Iran damaged a critical database Iran’s paramilitary arm needed to plot attacks against oil tankers, according to the New York Times.

Iran open to talks with U.S. A new report from the New York Times says that the Iranian government sees talks with the U.S. as inevitable. The NYT says that Iran could pursue a dual-track strategy of escalation with the U.S. in order to gain leverage, while exploring the possibility of future talks. Notably, the report says that Iran would be open to a comprehensive deal, covering both nuclear issues and some other issues that the Trump administration has cited, such as Iran’s ballistic missile program. In exchange, Iran would demand lasting economic relief.

BP’s Alaska sale raises questions about future of Arctic. BP (NYSE: BP) agreed to sell its Alaska assets to privately-held Hilcorp Energy for $5.6 billion as the oil giant focuses on U.S. shale. The exit raises questions about the future viability of Alaska’s oil and gas sector, which has been in decline. "Alaska's never been shy on supply ... but is it economically viable?" Kara Moriarty, president and CEO of the Alaska Oil and Gas Association said in an interview with S&P Global Platts. Platts says that breakeven prices for Alaska’s onshore oil stand at about $55 per barrel, with higher offshore breakevens at about $65 per barrel. In contrast, U.S. shale has a breakeven closer to $45 per barrel.

India to ban single-use plastics. India is set to impose a nationwide ban on plastic bags, cups and straws beginning on October 2, according to Reuters. “The ban will be comprehensive and will cover manufacturing, usage and import of such items,” one official said.

S&P Global: Argentina in “default.” Argentina has decided to extend the maturities on outstanding debt, rather than seeking a haircut, but S&P Global said that it stillconstitutes a selective default. “Following the continued inability to place short-term paper with private-sector market participants, the Argentine government unilaterally extended the maturity of all short-term paper on Aug. 28,” the ratings agency said in a statement. “This constitutes default under our criteria.” The Vaca Muerta could be hit hard by the financial turmoil in Argentina. Fixed oil prices are cutting into profits, while currency volatility could deter investment.

Inventory draw pushes up oil. A more conciliatory tone from the U.S. and China, along with a massive crude inventory drawdown report from the EIA helped push up oil prices this week.

Why Shell’s Natural Gas Bet Will Pay Off

Anglo-Dutch Shell announced an A$617 million ($418 million) offer for Australia’s ERM Power in August marking another move by the oil and gas major into the power sector. In March this year, Shell completed its rebranding of the UK’s First Utility as Shell Energy, having bought the electricity retailer in 2018. While still small in comparison with its forecast upstream spend of $54.6 billion from 2019-2025, Shell is starting to commit serious money to its power sector ambitions.

However, in one sense, rather than a radical means of addressing the challenges posed by the energy transition, this is old-fashioned vertical integration.

Shell’s production profile, as with most of the other oil majors, has steadily become more gaseous, a phenomenon accelerated by its huge $52 billion acquisition of BG in 2016. Low gas prices as a result of the ramp up in US LNG output, among other factors, are depressing returns on wholesale gas trading, but have improved gas-fired generation margins. Owning the entire value chain means dollars should be made somewhere along the line.

In the oil sector, the trend has most recently been in the opposite direction with oil companies splitting off their E&P functions from refining activities, a strategy which could begin to look somewhat less smart in a weaker oil price environment. Vertical integration may not be the most efficient business model, but it is a resilient structure in hard times.

Destination fuel

Shell’s move does, however, have motivations beyond vertical integration. It reflects its expectation that electricity’s share of end-use energy consumption will grow from around 20% to 50% by the 2070s, which begs the question, what will power this huge expansion in electricity consumption?

The level of investment pouring into new LNG schemes in the US, Canada, Mozambique, Russia and Qatar suggest that gas’s long-term future is bright as French consultancy Cedigaz argued in its recent gas outlook published August 5. The current slump in gas and LNG prices is unfortunate, but recent final investment decisions on new LNG plants are targeting gas/LNG demand from the mid-2020s on. Cheap gas now should make affordable the market expansion in developing Asia and gas-for-coal switching in Europe that these investments require.

But the net-zero carbon by 2050 ambitions recently adopted by two G7 economies – France and the UK – alongside a commitment from EU Commission president-elect Ursula von der Leyen to legislate on the entire bloc reaching carbon neutrality by 2050, appear to suggest otherwise.

Net-zero implications

Net-zero carbon targets imply a major broadening of decarbonisation efforts from the power sector to industry, heating, agriculture and transport. That does not mean that the power sector has done its bit, rather it implies continued radical change and the near elimination of all unabated fossil fuel generation, not a vision that fits neatly with Shell’s gas-to-power investments.

The net-zero carbon by 2050 movement may be dominated by European countries for the moment, but it is not exclusively European. According to an estimate in June by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, 16% of the global economy in terms of GDP is now covered by such targets.

According to the UN, global greenhouse gas emissions must be reduced to net zero around 2050, if the rise in global temperatures is to be limited as close as possible to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. If these warnings are heeded, more countries will adopt net zero carbon targets.

Take for example Spain’s energy transition. Coal is on its way out. Just 4.3 GW of coal-fired generation will be left by 2022 and none by 2035 based on current policy plans. Nuclear will also disappear, with Spain’s 7.1 GW of capacity shut down gradually between 2027 and 2035. Yet Madrid sees no boost for gas-fired generation to fill the shortfall. Instead, 74% of electricity is to be generated by renewables by 2030 with the intention of reaching 100% by 2050.

Germany is another example, although it has yet to adopt a net-zero carbon target. It is in the process of developing its own coal phase-out program. Unlike Spain, Germany will lose its nuclear generation first, while the coal phase-out bill is expected to follow the recommendations presented by the country’s coal commission in January, which suggested the last coal-fired generation plant would close in 2038.

Renewables, including large hydro, made up 34.9% of electricity generation in Germany in 2018 and 38.5% in Spain. Given that large hydro has few or no options for growth in these countries, wind and solar power will have to more than treble generation just to match 2018 demand levels by 2050.

Neither country’s renewable energy sectors currently look sufficiently dynamic to meet that challenge. Both have gone through a period of subsidisation and then subsidy retrenchment as costs grew. Wholesale electricity prices may have fallen, but retail prices have not.

Onshore wind – currently stalled in Germany owing to increasingly onerous licensing processes – and solar may have become competitive with fossil fuels, but that doesn’t mean market forces alone will be sufficient to drive the kind of forced expansion net zero carbon targets imply.

Electrification dependence

Net-zero carbon targets imply a much greater share of final energy consumption is emissions-free. While renewable energy sources may presently serve 34.9% of German electricity demand, they provide only 14% of final energy consumption.

Electrification will have to play a huge role in decarbonising industry, heat and transport because greenhouse gas emissions control is most easily achieved at the point of electricity generation, either by renewable energy sources or abated fossil fuels, rather than at multiple points of final energy use, for example in vehicle engines or buildings’ boilers.

This is true even if a hydrogen pathway is adopted as green hydrogen relies on clean electricity generation just as much as an electric vehicle’s carbon footprint depends on the energy mix that charges it.

Net-zero carbon strategies’ dependence on electrification will give new life to electricity demand as forecast in Shell’s long-term energy outlook.

Shell’s thinking – not without reason – may thus be that the zero-carbon targets simply don’t add up. Consequently, a bet on natural gas as a low carbon or fully-abated feedstock either for hydrogen production or power generation is a good one.

Rising renewables generation has tended to push gas out of the generation mix, as the fuel with the highest marginal costs. This is changing as a result of the fall in gas and LNG prices, as well as, in Europe at least, rising carbon costs, owing to reform of the EU Emissions Trading System. In a world where zero fuel-cost generation provides the majority of power without competition from must-run baseload nuclear and coal, gas-fired generation should regain not just market share in generation, but its price setting role in power markets.